We’ve all heard the phrase “new year, new me,” but have you considered extending this notion to your kids?
The new year is a great time to set goals for not only yourself, but the entire family. It’s important to set an example for your kids to have something to strive for at a young age.
New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to bring the whole family together for uplifting and healthy activities. The most important thing is to make sure the goals you set are simple, focused, and achievable.
It can be challenging to discuss goals with a pre-schooler; however a resolution can be as simple as “learn something new,” like: dance, a sport, a game, etc.
Additional thoughts for little ones:
- Pick up toys when done playing
- Try a new fruit or veggie every month
- Brush teeth twice a day
During elementary school, kids’ understanding of goal setting improves dramatically. Resolutions for school age should encourage them to identify something they want to work on: being a good student, keeping their room clean, etc.
- Be friendly to all kids at school
- Find a fun physical activity and do it at least three times a week
- Drink more milk/water and less soda/fruit drinks
Adolescence is a time of significant change. Resolutions or goals can begin to become more complex and perhaps more focused on long-term goals. The adolescent should play a major role in setting their goals.
- Find a healthy outlet for dealing with stress – like journaling or exercise
- Get involved in an extracurricular activity
- Take part in a volunteer opportunity, community service, etc. to help others
- Establish a healthy lifestyle – good sleeping habits, hygiene, healthy eating, physical activity multiple times a week, etc.
- Establish a GPA or (ACT/SAT Score) Goal
Track the progress of your family’s goals with a sticker or chore chart for little ones or visual for older children. Have your children manage the chart, allowing them to experience the sense of pride that comes from keeping track of achievements and keep it positive.
Family meals are an excellent time to discuss goals and progress. This includes parents’ goals too. It’s extremely important to lead by example. Provide rewards – like a family movie night, special meal, etc. – for successful completion of goals.
Resolutions can be a great opportunity for the entire family to come together and have new experiences while bettering your health and quality of life.
Connect with The Iowa Clinic
Ryan Tomlinson, MD, is Central Iowa’s first Internal Medicine-Pediatrics physician. Dr. Tomlinson’s specialty of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics is unique in that physicians care for a complete spectrum of patient ages and complexity.
One of his clinical interests, in addition to pediatrics and internal medicine, is commonly referred to as transitional medicine – helping children with complex, often life-long or life-limiting medical conditions (cystic fibrosis, pediatric cancer survivors, etc.). This includes Dr. Tomlinson serving as their primary care provider and coordinating their care with many subspecialists.
Dr. Tomlinson is located at The Iowa Clinic’s Internal Medicine-Pediatrics office located within Iowa Methodist Medical Center. The waiting room in this space was recently renovated to be more kid-friendly.
Dr. Tomlinson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa and completed his Combined Medicine-Pediatrics Residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He also completed a year as the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Chief Resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
On a personal note, Dr. Tomlinson can speak Swedish. Outside of the clinic, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking/trying new foods, camping, outdoor activities, gardening, and traveling to new places around the world.
This is just one post from our “Healthy Living” Series sponsored by The Iowa Clinic. For other topics, choose link below: